LIVING AT PEACE IN TROUBLED TIMES
Hello, friends. I am glad you are available today for this message. I do hope you benefited from the last message.
We shall continue today on the second part of the message, Living at Peace in Troubled Times.
LIVING AT PEACE IN TROUBLED TIMES
And we shall take our reading again from Romans 12:14-21
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let us pray.
Heavenly FATHER, The FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, grant that the entrance of YOUR Word in the hearts of YOUR people will bring personal peace and peace with GOD…in The Name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST I PRAY. AMEN!
Last week we considered that no person can live at peace with his neighbors unless he has obtained peace from GOD The Creator. We said that, it was sin that introduced chaos, conflict, confusion, fights and battles in our world. We also saw that without peace with GOD implementation or biblical codes of relationship becomes difficult or even impossible.
Today we shall proceed with the attitudes of a person who has peace with GOD.
- Number one injunction is, bless those who persecute you: bless and do not curse.
Who are those who persecute us? Or who are our enemies? They are the people who object to our way of life and preaching. They will not want us to be happy or successful. There are enemies of faith or religious enemies. There are political enemies. Even in the families there are enemies. Lack of peace could be as a result of the activities of enemies. One enemy that is outstanding in our time is the enemy from other faiths. There are times when these people will do things to keep us from succeeding, and even cause us harm. The bible has said that, one day every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that JESUS is LORD. The fulfillment of this word is still a way off. The truth is that, we will have to live with those who are favorable to us and those who dislike us due to our professing of Christianity. Therefore we are going to learn to get along with them.
The Reverend Danny Marcaine, in one of his sermons, on this issue, in Bauchi State said, “To get along with non-Christians among us the focus must be on ourselves, and not on them. We cannot control their actions, but we can control our actions.” It follows therefore that we must focus on controlling what we can, and allowing GOD to control what we cannot.
Our text lists action which it states we should be involved in in order to live at peace with our neighbors in these troubles times:
Bless those who persecute you. That is what is written in Romans 12:14. Our LORD blessed people. To bless is to say good things to someone. For us to enjoy peace in our communities and neighborhood, especially with those who oppose us or want to harm us, we must learn to say good things about them. We must also learn to say good things to them. This can only be possible through The Power of The HOLY SPIRIT.
ii. Bless and not curse is another injunction. To curse is to pray or to wish bad things on other people. Apostle Paul, speaking under the Power of The HOLY SPIRIT said, we are not to curse those who curse or maltreat us. It is very unfortunate that the practice of cursing our enemies has crept into the church in the last few years. These are called imprecatory prayers.
One of them is found in Psalm 3:7, “Arise, O LORD, deliver me, O GOD, strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.”
The argument is that, David prayed these types of prayers. There is no doubt about that: but we are followers of a greater-than-David. David, yes, was a human being struggling with such things. But now our Master JESUS, who David called LORD, has taught us a more acceptable way.
Hear the teachings of our LORD JESUS. In Matthew 5:43-45
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Friends, you have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I said to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That’s the teaching of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Again we read in The Book of Luke 6:27-28
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Friends, have you been guilty of cursing those who persecute you? The teaching of our LORD JESUS CHRIST is clear on the issue. Let us repent and change our pattern of prayer. The LORD will sure work for us.
iii. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. That’s Romans 12:17. The natural thing is to retaliate. That is the law of retaliation. This law is at work in the lives of many people of GOD. In The Old Testament, this was the law. And it was applied judiciously.
In Leviticus 20:19-20 it was there. In most cases there was no end to retaliation, because in trying to retaliate you must be careful not to exceed the original injury otherwise you will present yourself again for the extra injury to be inflicted on you to make up.
Our LORD JESUS said, do not take revenge – leave it for me. This teaching is difficult to accept; but that’s what our LORD JESUS taught. We either accept it or live in disobedience. No natural person can do this. This is why you need to be born of GOD so that HIS Spirit The HOLY SPIRIT can help you. Many people have asked, does it mean I should just watch while my children are killed or my wife and daughters are raped? Not of course! The government has the responsibility to defend each citizen. Each citizen has the right to self-defense, and that of the family – if you have the means to do so. However we must bear in mind the teachings of our LORD JESUS CHRIST that we should not retaliate but give room for our GOD to revenge for us.
Let us pray.
Heavenly FATHER, YOUR teachings are clear and straight. They enable us live like The Children of The Most High GOD. I do pray that YOU would enable us to understand this so that we would not be acting in contradiction to YOUR Word.
Grant that YOUR SPIRIT will continue from where we have stopped; and help each an every one of us to receive the pure Word of our LORD JESUS CHRIST which, O GOD our FATHER, will make us YOUR children. Thank YOU, FATHER, for our prayer is through JESUS CHRIST our LORD. AMEN!